Fallen US Marine Garibay’s Mother to Lose Home in Santa Ana

We are often reminded of the price of freedom and sacrifice around the Memorial Day holiday.

In that day most of us come together to honor the service and sacrifice of our active duty troops, our veterans, and the families of our veterans. And we pay honor and respect for those who answer their country’s call to duty, both in peacetime and in wartime.

But a country’s call of duty takes greater significance in time of war, for millions are asked to sacrifice time away from family, as over 2 million brave men and women of America’s Armed Forced have done in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • The very lucky few come back to us with no lingering after effects.
  • Others come back with physical and mental injuries that they will struggle with for the rest of their lives.
  • And others pay the ultimate sacrifice – “All of our troops give some, but some give all!”

As Orange County Pastor Orzio, severely wounded Vietnam veteran, and co-founder with his wife Sherrie of Wounded Warrior Ministries says, “Many sacrificed their tomorrows, so we can have our today’s”- and that is the true cost of freedom.

For the families of the fallen, the sacrifice is more personal.

The families understand that their loved one’s sacrificed for their love of country, and for our values and principles.

But I ask myself what are our values and principles when often times we don’t treat our combat veterans properly, or we fail to look after them properly, or worse yet, that a veteran and their family, or the family of the fallen end up homeless.

First Casualty of War from OC and his Mom:

My US Marine brother, Cpl Alex “Plumas” Madrigal, just called me to let me know that he is going to be paying honor and respect, at the US Marine Jet / Fire Fighter memorial in downtown Santa Ana, in memory of US Marine Cpl Jose Angel Garibay who was the first casualty of war from Orange County, in March 23, 2003.

He decided to do this because he found out Cpl Garibay’s mom, Simona Garibay is losing her home here in Santa Ana, CA.

Mrs. Simona Garibay bought the house to honor her son Cpl Garibay, because his dream was for her to have her own home.

Unfortunately, over the course of the years, she became a victim of predatory lending scam, and then apparently this same person who scammed her, also embezzled $70,000 from her.

I know that Cpl Madrigal is well intended, but I know that that gesture is only symbolic.

More can be done and must be done to help Mrs. Garibay, and to keep not only Cpl Garibay’s memory alive, but to also give life to his dream of his mom owning her own home. I know that if Cpl Garibay was alive he would do his utmost to ensure this. I know this because if he was willing to give his life for his country, I know he would give of his time, talent and resources to accomplish this.

But Marine Cpl Jose Angel Garibay is not around!

What are we willing and able to do to help our veterans, and the families of our fallen like Simona’s Garibay’s plight?  Will you ignore this?

For ideas or suggestions please contact Cpl Alex Madrigal at : Officermadrigal@aol.com / (714) 788-0206 cell

P.S.  Cpl Madrigal has been visiting the wounded and the families of the fallen since the start of the two wars, and I sometimes accompany him.

Cpl Alex Madrigal will be at the Marine Jet (600 n. Broadway across the Old OC Courthouse) today from 10am-1pm; and from 4:30-5:30 pm.

The he will be at the Gypsy Den from 7:30pm-9:30 pm to share his poetry. And he will again be at the Marine Jet Memorial tomorrow from 3pm-6pm.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Francisco “Paco”Barragan

About Francisco Barragan